MARATHON, Florida Keys — People go many places on vacation, but a few of them visit the Keys and get hooked. We live in an extraordinary place — good fishing and sophisticated food. I don’t mean just fried fish and Key Lime Pie, but out on top…the cutting edge. The people that fish down here come from every walk of life and that is no joke.
The reef at night has been great, many big mangroves, muttons, and some jumbo yellowtail. As well in the daytime, yellowtails have been chewing, but fishing them in the fast current was a little challenging. The patches yielded small yellowtail, but big enough to keep and make a meal. Fishing the wrecks has produced a few good fish, but since the spawns are over for the most part, mutton fishing here in Marathon has slowed down. Don’t get me wrong; there are a few nice fish to be had on any given day.
Offshore is where I finished these past couple of days, and the Tuna bite has been decent late in the afternoon. It was good during most of the day on Thursday, but with people operating their boat like morons, I had to slow down, and in some cases I had to just pick my baits up and move from the area. I actually had a guy troll over top of me on the hump. His bait came flying over the gunwale, smacking my center consol before making a hasty exit. Thank god my clients were back at the stern reeling in fish. I mean, we were stopped fighting fish and somehow this guy came that close to literally troll through my boat.
On Wednesday, I fished a half-day snapper in the morning and then left for a full day from 1:00pm to 9:00 pm. The afternoon full day can only happen in the summer, we had just enough light to fish the whole time and then came home in the dark. We caught some nice dolphin and tuna…well, we saw two dolphin and caught them, and then fished the hump where large fish were actually eating trolled baits. Trolled ballyhoo or cedar plugs did the trick that day.
After all the fishing, it is always nice to sit down and eat a nice meal. After a day of fishing, some sushi and oysters sounds good to me. I ordered some Oysters Moscow from Castaways, which is a raw oyster with two types of caviar and horseradish sauce on it. Very good, it gives it another step up from just a great oyster. The flavor just pops in your mouth.
I also ordered two of their special sushi rolls, a 2-year roll, and a surf and turf roll. The 2-year roll has chopped tuna on top, with an inside-out roll of shrimp tempura and asparagus, cream cheese, and something else I can’t remember. The surf and turf roll has prime rib on top with lobster tempura and some other ingredients too.
Let me tell you one thing though, the custom champagne hand rolls are off the hook. My favorite is the salmon, tuna, white tuna, with Japanese mayo, massago, and a quails egg yolk. Yummmmmm that’s some good eating.
Tags: bally, Castaways Restaurant, cedar plugs, dolphin fishing, florida keys eating, florida keys food, mangrove snapper fishing, oysters, oysters moscow, snapper fishing, sushi, tuna fishing, yellowtail snapper fishing